There is a total lack of awareness amongst IT professionals surrounding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) despite the threat of fines coming once the European wide laws are ratified.
A survey from network management and monitoring software specialist, Ipswitch, found that businesses are woefully ill prepared for the European Commission’s draft bill. The GDPR aims to unify data protection legislation across the continent and once passed, compliance failures will carry fines of up to €100m or 5% of global turnover – whichever is greater.
Despite the potentially crippling fines, Ipswitch found that 56% of the 316 IT professionals surveyed could not identify what GDPR meant. Only 12% felt they were ready for the regulatory changes due to come into effect early 2015.
The lack of knowledge surrounding the draft legislation carried through to cloud services too. While 79% of respondents retained the services of a cloud service provider, only 6% had thought to ask whether the provider was ready for the changes.
“GDPR includes an obligation to protect personal data across the borderless enterprise. IT Professionals should review and bolster their data processing policies and practices now, before the regulation comes into effect,” said Alessandro Porro, VP of International Sales at Ipswitch.
While GDPR is likely to come into effect early next year, businesses will have two years to become compliant. Ipswitch’s findings are not only a clear warning for IT decision makers, but a clear opportunity for resellers to educate their customers, adding additional value to their offerings in the lead up to the legislative changes.